Bike tour pedals to end cancer

Kickoff event is in Eagan

Photo submitted
Thomas Lennox, a colon cancer survivor, started the Twin Cities bike tour Chainbreaker, which raises funds for cancer research.

More than 900 bikers will ride in the inaugural Chainbreaker Aug. 11-13, to help raise funds for cancer research at the Masonic Cancer Center-University of Minnesota.

Every rider-raised dollar is directed to research and each rider has committed to raising a minimum of $1,000.

Chainbreaker is modeled after Pelotonia, a Columbus, Ohio-based cycling fundraiser benefiting cancer research at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Started in 2008 by cancer survivor Thomas Lennox, Pelotonia now attracts more than 8,000 riders. He started the event after treatment for colon cancer.

Lennox later shared the fundraising model with other nationally recognized cancer institutions. Now generating more than $25 million per year, Pelotonia has raised more than $140 million for research in eight years.

“The success of Chainbreaker and Pelotonia will always be driven by the grit and determination of its riders to end cancer,” said Lennox. “While Pelotonia benefits from incredible community support in Columbus, I know the Twin Cities offers even greater opportunity for a game changer. The Chainbreaker team is committed to creating an amazing experience for its riders and we’re proud to say that 100 percent of all rider raised funds goes directly to cancer research.”

“Chainbreaker is an important fundraising experience that has the potential to provide critical funding for cancer research at the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota,” said Dr. Brooks Jackson, vice president of Health Sciences and Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School. “Funds raised through events like Chainbreaker are transformative, particularly at a time when public sources of funding for science are being squeezed.”

Riders may choose from four scenic routes of 25, 50, 100 or 180 miles, all of which have been designed to appeal to cyclists of varying experience levels.

On the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 11, festivities begin with a celebration on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Eagan Campus located at 3400 Yankee Doodle Road.

The kickoff will include rider registration, dinner for riders and their guests, an opening ceremony and music.

On the morning of Saturday, Aug. 12, riders on all four routes will travel southeast toward Northfield.

Riders who register for the 25-mile route will end their tour with a breakfast finale on Saturday in Hampton with live music, while those who choose the 50-mile route will finish in Welch Village with lunch and two new musical acts.

Riders going the 100-mile and two-day 180-mile route will finish their tour Saturday on the campus of St. Olaf in Northfield.

Two-day 180-mile riders overnight in the St. Olaf dorms, enjoy a buffet breakfast Sunday morning before riding back to the Twin Cities finishing at Excelsior Commons on Lake Minnetonka. Lunch will be provided along with live music.

For more information, visit chainbreakerride.org.